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Microfinance and Its DiscontentsWomen in Debt in Bangladesh$
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Lamia Karim

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670949

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670949.001.0001

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Power/Knowledge in Microfinance

Power/Knowledge in Microfinance

(p.163) Chapter 6 Power/Knowledge in Microfinance
Microfinance and Its Discontents

Lamia Karim

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores the powers inherent in discursive knowledge production, in order to explain why Bangladesh, a nation with a rich culture and a remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, would simultaneously become the world’s poster child for abject poverty. Much of the problem lies in the NGOs becoming the source of social and economic welfare. The NGO to beneficiary relationship after all, is not a relationship between equals. The founding of the Grameen Bank and the fanfare that resulted has only served to strengthen the people’s faith in NGOs, if only because the Nobel Prize the bank has achieved is a source of national pride, representing a kind of social equality with the West. Such attitudes toward the supposedly beneficent actions of the Grameen Bank and the empowering applications of microfinance have only served to stifle criticism and alternative economic solutions.

Keywords:   knowledge production, Bangladesh, Grameen Bank, Nobel Prize, social and economic welfare, poverty, equality, national pride

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